GRUDGE MATCH 2013
SPORTS / COMEDY
PLOT: Aging boxers have one last bout.
Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone are Pittsburgh fighters Billy “The Kid” McDonnen and Henry “Razor” Sharp who hate each in and outside the ring. Many years past and the grandson of the promoter Slate Kevin Hart want them to do a video game. When they get together for the first time in a long time there is violence and it goes viral so Slate decides to make it a real fight with the grumpy old men. You have seen this film before and it has so many funny moments. It is a great concept to have actors who have played boxers before De Niro Raging Bull and Stallone Rocky. Kevin Hart is a riot especially near the end when he wants another grudge match with two well-known boxers. It is not doing well in theaters but on video it will do better.
PLOT: Ice Cube and Kevin Hart team up!!
Kevin Hart is funny as Ben who loves video games and Angela (Tika Sumpter), the woman he wants to marry but he needs her brother’s blessing and guesses who that is? A no-nonsense cop named James (Ice Cube) trying to bust an elusive arms dealer Omar (Laurence Fishburne) so he takes Ben on a ride along. It is a buddy comedy which you have seen before but you have to admire the two male leads to enjoy the movie. It is directed by Tim Story who did both The Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He also did Barber Shop and Think Like A Man.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
PLOT: Secrets of a family are revealed when the father dies.
Julia Roberts is Barbara Weston who has to deal with the death of her father(Beverly Weston) Sam Shepard, her drug addict mother Violet Weston (Meryl Streep), her fast, talkative sister Karen (Juliette Lewis) and her quiet sister Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) who is in love with the wrong man. Roberts doesn’t show her beautiful smile in this movie. She is mostly upset, swearing and angry. She gives a great performance and the always dependable Streep is brilliant as the over-medicated but is aware what is happening in her household. It goes from funny to tragedy very often. Worth watching if you are interested in good acting.
AMERICAN HUSTLE -2013
PLOT: Con artists help the FBI.
Brilliant con man Christian Bale must help a FBI agent Bradley Cooper. The film is just amazing but you have to be patient to enjoy it. It is not for the average moviegoer. The talented ensemble cast also includes Amy Adams, comic Louis CK Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Michael Pena and Robert DeNiro.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET -2013
CRIME BLACK COMEDY-DRAMA
PLOT: Based on a true story of Jordon Belfort, a young successful stockbroker who became super rich and then his downfall.
Leonardo DiCaprio is Jordon Belfort, a Long Island stockbroker with big dreams but he got so corrupt and crazed by drugs he is no better than a well-suited gangster. He played the part well. All the actors played their parts well even beautiful newcomer Margot Robbie as his second trophy wife Naomi. WARNING: There is a lot of sex and drugs in the film. It was original rated NC-17 but talented director Martin Scorsese cut (not much) to get the R-rating. These people are vulgar, swearing and outrageous but only wear designer outfits. The movie is long but it is worth a look.
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY -2013
PLOT: Dull negative assistant imagines he does heroic things.
The trailer is not like the film at all!! It is a sober movie for a holiday film. Ben Stiller stars and directs. He is Walter Mitty a hardworking guy with a boring life. He has a crush on a woman at his job, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig who is very good). It is amazing how it moves from reality to fantasy and the visual effects and music are amazing. I really liked the classic movie with Danny Kaye in 1947!! It feels like an IFC movie but a good one.
THE LEGEND OF HERCULES
PLOT: Another story about the Greek demi-god.
Studios put out their bad movies January through March and this is one of them. It is a big budget film through it doesn’t look it. It sounds more like Gladiator with Russell Crowe than the myth of Hercules. It will do better on video.
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
PLOT: Based on his autobiography Nelson Mandela.
First of all when Hollywood makes a biopic they add things that don’t happen but for dramatic effect. Read about the late, great South African president before you see it. As a movie it is fantastic!! Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) is wonderful and Mandela and so is Naomie Harris (Skyfall) as Winnie Mandela. I hope Oscar nominations are in their future. The entire cast is very good.
A MADEA CHRISTMAS
PLOT: Madea spreads on her joy for the holidays.
Madea (Tyler Perry) helps a friend Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford) surprise her daughter Lacey (Tika Sumpter The Haves and Haves Not) for Christmas but she has surprises of her own. This film is for Madea fans only. It is not high-brow comedy. Larry The Cable Guy shows up and shamelessly plugs his product Prilosec OTC! How funny or weird is that?
PLOT: Former drug enforcement agent Phil Broker wants to leave with his daughter and start over.
Phil Broker (Jason Statham) leaves the city to the bayou but problems still follow him and Morgan “Gator” Bodine (James Franco) is a meth maker and dealer to cause more trouble. Story not important but kick butt is which Statham provides. Why it came out around Thanksgiving is a shock and why talented Franco is it this. It should be on video and I am sure it will do much better!!
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PLOT: The further adventures of Bilbo Baggins.
Bilbo ( Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) the dwarves lead by Thorin (Richard Armitage) continue their quest to reclaim their home from the evil dragon Smaug. I enjoyed this film very much because of all things Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness)!! I loved how massive the dragon was!! The story is good and the special effects are a wonder to behold. There is one more movie to this trilogy and it is most welcome!!
PLOT: Disney retelling of The Snow Queen.
Two sisters, Anna and Elsa are very close but her sister Elsa has the power to freeze everything. She keeps it hidden after an almost tragic accident with Elsa and keeps her sister away. She runs away and it is Elsa with the help of friends to save the kingdom from being cold forever. Disney is famous for their wonderful supporting characters and this is no different. The one that stand out is the goofy looking but loveable snowman Olaf which reminds me of Jerry Lewis for those who knows who he is. It is well made and every animated Disney feels like it could be easily made into a musical with all the songs. It is a great movie for ALL ages!!!
HUNGER GAMES 2: CATCHING FIRE
PLOT: The next movie in the trilogy books by Suzette Collins.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes hope for the people and hated by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol so they created games so she can play again but lose this time. The movie is slow pace because they are building up to the ending and when the action comes it is fast and furious!! Talent is involved in this production. It is very well done. Read the books if you can. Can’t wait for Mockingjay.
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY
PLOT: A sequel to The Best Man.
It is a continuation of The Best Man about successful, educated black friends and now new problems of becoming older, pregnant, independent and dependent in fifteen years. First of all this is a breath of fresh air with the recent black actors portraying slaves and servants. I say enough of that!! The acting is great and it seems there may be a third film. The movie makes you want to see the first one again!! It has Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Terrance Howard, Nia Long and Reigna Hall. Worth watching!!!
12 YEARS A SLAVE
PLOT: The true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejofor) is a free black man in upstate New York who is kidnapped and becomes a slave.
OMG this is not a pleasant movie. The title of the film tells all. It is very graphic of the torment and treatment of black slaves. All the performances are exceptional but it is above average slave exploitation film. I don’t know why talented black actors would do such a depression, degrading motion picture. It is directed by Steve McQueen who did Shame and I don’t know why he did the film. It is making money and probably receives numerous nominations but the movie is very, very difficult to watch!! You have been warned!!!
PLOT: Irving Zisman is an old man taking his 8 year grandson to his father.
The people who made the Jack Ass movies now have made this movie. Irving Zisman is played by Johnny Knoxville and the Billy the kid is played by Jackson Nicoll. They go cross country to take him back to his greedy father after her mother goes to jail. This is an outrageous, gross, crude film but it is very funny if you like this kind of movie. It is making money sick as it is!! Watch at your own risk!!
PLOT: A brilliant teen must save the world from an alien insect being.
Ender is a smart, determined young man who must prove himself a leader and destroy the aliens before they destroy the earth. The movie is based on the popular novel. You should read the novel before watching the movie for you know Hollywood changes things. The best part of the film for me was the special effects. It was really well done. It is slow in spots but very good when it gets to the battle scenes.